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Kai Lessmann

Dr. Kai Lessmann

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

P.O. Box 60 12 03

D-14412 Potsdam, Germany


Phone: +49-331-288-2563

Email: Kai.Lessmann


Kai Lessmann is a post-doctorate researcher at PIK. His research interests include the analysis of incentives for cooperative policy in the context of global public goods, and integrated assessment of climate change with a focus on economics and the choice of policy instruments. He is heading the working group on Policy Instruments Modeling within PIK's research domain RD3 – Sustainable Solutions.


Other functions at PIK: Member of the PhD Mediator Team (internal link), and member of the Modeler's Council (internal link), 2015 head of council.


Research Interests

Climate Change Econmics, Game Theory and Climate Change, International Environmental Agreements, Optimal Policies, Integrated Assessment, Economic Modeling (see MICA)

Work in Progress

  • Franks, M., D. Klenert, A. Schultes, K. Lessmann, O. Edenhofer: "Is Capital Back? The Role of Land Ownership and Savings Behavior"
  • Emmerling, J., U. Kornek, V. Bosetti, K. Lessmann, M. Tavoni: "The effect of climate thresholds on coalition formation: an application of numerical models"
  • Meya, J., U. Kornek, K. Lessmann: "Uncertainty and the internal stability of climate coalitions - a Monte-Carlo analysis in the model of international climate coalitions", presented at EAERE 2016, submitted.


My publications in the PIK Publications database, on Social Science Research Network SSRN, and Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) (also via IDEAS and EconPapers).


    • Kornek, Ulrike; Kai Lessmann, Michael Pahle, Gregor Schwerhoff: "Leadership in Climate Change Mitigation: Consequences and Incentives", presented at EAERE 2016, accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Surveys.
    • Kornek U., J. Steckel, K. Lessmann, O. Edenhofer (2017): "The Climate Rent Curse: New Challenges for Burden Sharing". International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, doi:10.1007/s10784-017-9352-2, PDF
    • Steckel, J.C., M. Jakob, C. Flachsland, U. Kornek, K. Lessmann, O. Edenhofer (2016): "Towards Sustainable Development Finance". Wiley International Reviews Climate Change, doi:10.1002/wcc.437
    • Klenert, David, Linus Mattauch, Ottmar Edenhofer, Kai Lessmann (2016): "Infrastructure and Inequality: Insights from Incorporating Key Economic Facts about Household Heterogeneity." CESifo Working Paper,  Macroeconomic Dynamics first view, doi:10.1017/S1365100516000432.
    • Franks, Max, Ottmar Edenhofer, and Kai Lessman. "Why Finance Ministers Favor Carbon Taxes, Even if They Do Not Take Climate Change into Account." Discussion Paper 2015-67, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, March 2015, PDF, Environmental and Resource Economics, First online: 17 November 2015, DOI 10.1007/s10640-015-9982-1
    • Lessmann, K., U. Kornek, V. Bosetti, R. Dellink, J. Emmerling, J. Eyckmans, M. Nagashima, H.-P. Weikard, Z. Yang (2015): "The stability and effectiveness of climate coalitions: A comparative analysis of multiple integrated assessment models". Environmental and Resource Economics, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 811-836, doi:10.1007/s10640-015-9886-0, updated manscript.
    • Kornek, u., K. Lessmann, H. Tulkens (2014), “Transferable and Non Transferable Utility Implementations of Coalitional Stability in Integrated Assessment Models”, CORE working paper 2014/35.
    • Edenhofer, O., Jakob, M., Creutzig, F., Flachsland, C., Fuss, S., Kowarsch, M., Lessmann, K., Mattauch, L., Siegmeier, J., Steckel, J. (2015): "Closing the Emission Price Gap." Global Environmental Change 31:132-143. updated manuscript
    • Jakob, M., K. Lessmann and T. Wildgrube (2014), "The Role of Emissions Trading and Permit Allocation in International Climate Agreements with Asymmetric Countries", Strategic Behavior and the Environment: Vol. 4: No. 4, pp 361-392. doi:10.1561/102.00000050, PDF.
    • Kalkuhl, M., Edenhofer, O., Lessmann, K. (2015): "The Role of Carbon Capture and Sequestration Policies for Climate Change Mitigation", Environmental and Resource Economics Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 55-80, doi:10.1007/s10640-013-9757-5, PDF.
    • Lessmann, K., R. Marschinski, M. Finus, U. Kornek, O. Edenhofer (2013): "Emissions trading with non-signatories in a climate agreement - An analysis of coalition stability", The Manchester School, doi:10.1111/manc.12045. Bath Economics Research Paper version (pre-peer-review).
    • Edenhofer, O., C. Flachsland, M. Jakob, K. Lessmann: The Atmosphere as a Global Commons - Challenges for Challenges for International Cooperation and Governance. In: Semmler, W., L. Bernard (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of the The Oxford Handbook of the Macroeconomics of Global Warming. Oxford University Press, and online. Discussion Paper 2013-58. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, August 2013 PDF
    • Pahle, M., Lessmann, K., Edenhofer, O., Bauer, N. (2013): Investments in Imperfect Power Markets under Carbon Pricing: A Case Study Based Analysis. The Energy Journal 34(4), doi:10.5547/01956574.34.4.10.
    • Kalkuhl, M., Edenhofer, O., Lessmann, K. (2013): Renewable energy subsidies: Second-best policy or fatal aberration for mitigation? Resource and Energy Economics, 35 (3), pp. 217-234. FEEM Working Paper 48.2011 PDF
    • Jakob, M. and K. Lessmann (2012): "Signaling in International Environmental Agreements: The Case of Early and Delayed Action" International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 12(4), 309-325.
    • Kalkuhl, M., O. Edenhofer and K. Lessmann (2012): "Learning or Lock-in: Optimal Technology Policies to Support Mitigation". Resource and Energy Economics, 34(1), 1-23 PDF CESifo Working Paper No. 3422 PDF.
    • Heitzig, J., Lessmann, K., Zou, Y. (2011): "Self-enforcing strategies to deter free-riding in the climate change mitigation game and other repeated public good games." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 108, 38, 15739-15744, PDF
    • Lessmann, K. and O. Edenhofer (2011): "Research Cooperation and International Standards in a Model of Coalition Stability." Resource and Energy Economics, 33(1), 36-54. doi:10.1016/j.reseneeco.2010.01.001, PDF.
    • Edenhofer, O., Knopf, B., Barker, T., Baumstark, L., Bellevrat, E., Chateau, B., Criqui, P., Isaac, M., Kitous, A., Kypreos, S., Leimbach, M., Lessmann, K., Magné, B., Scrieciu, S., Turton, H., van Vuuren, D.P. (2010): The economics of low stabilization: exploring its implications for mitigation costs and strategies. The Energy Journal, Volume 31 (Special Issue 1). The Economics of Low Stabilization, 2010, PDF
    • Lessmann, K. (2009). "Endogenous Technological Change in Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change" PhD Thesis. urn:nbn:de:kobv:83-opus-23595
    • Held, H., Kriegler, E., Lessmann, K., Edenhofer, O. (2009). "Efficient Climate Policy under Technology and Climate Uncertainty." Energy Economics, doi: 10.1016/j.eneco.2008.12.012
    • Lessmann, K., R. Marschinski, O. Edenhofer (2009). "The effects of tariffs on coalition formation in a dynamic global warming game" Economic Modelling 26(3):641-649. PDF, doi:10.1016/j.econmod.2009.01.005
    • Edenhofer, O, Kemfert, C., Lessmann, K., Grubb M., Koehler J. (2006). "Induced Technological Change: Exploring its Implications for the Economics of Atmospheric Stabilization: Synthesis Report from the Innovation Modeling Comparison Project." The Energy Journal (Special Issue: Endogenous Technological Change and the Economics of Atmospheric Stabilisation): 57-107. PDF
    • Edenhofer, O., Lessmann K., Bauer, N. (2006). "Endogenous and Induced Technological Change in the Model MIND." The Energy Journal (Special Issue: Endogenous Technological Change and the Economics of Atmospheric Stabilisation): 207-222. PDF
    • Edenhofer, O., Lessmann, K. (2005). "Climate Policy and Energy Security." International Network To Advance Cllimate Talks, Options for Future Climate Policy: Transatlantic Perspectives. PDF
    • Edenhofer, O., Lessmann, K., Bauer, N., Held, H., (2005). "Climate Protection! - A New Energy Policy?" Vierteljahreshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung 74(2):137-147. PDF
    • Lessmann, K., A. Beyer, J. Klasmeier, M. Matthies (2005). "Influence of Distributional Shape of Substance Parameters on Exposure Model Output." Risk Analysis 25:1137-1145, doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00669.x.


  • Lessmann, K. (2010). "Towards more cooperation and low-carbon technology – Endogenous Technological Change in Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change." Suedwestdeutscher Verlag fuer Hochschulschriften, ISBN 978-3838113036. Publication of the PhD Thesis
  • Lessmann, K. (2009). "Endogenous Technological Change in Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change" PhD Thesis. urn:nbn:de:kobv:83-opus-23595


  • Flachsland, C., Lessmann, K., Edenhofer, O. (2012): Climate Policy in a Decentralised World. - In: Edenhofer, O., Wallacher, J., Lotze-Campen, H., Reder, M., Knopf, B., Müller, J. (Eds.), Climate Change, Justice and Sustainability. Dordrecht : Springer, 257-268
  • Edenhofer, O., Lessmann, K. (2007): "Vom Preis des Klimaschutzes und vom Wert der Erde. Technischer Fortschritt und das Konzept 'starker' Nachhaltigkeit." Jahrbuch für Ökologische Ökonomik, Band 5: Soziale Nachhaltigkeit, Seite 239ff, Metropolis Verlag, Marburg 2007.


  • Duscha, V., J. Schleich, U. Kornek und Lessmann, K. (2015): "Verteilungsgerechtigkeit und Vorreiterverhalten in internationaler Klimapolitik", Hintergrundpapier zum 3. Forum Klimaökonomie des BMBF, PDF.
  • Edenhofer, O., C. Flachsland, K. Lessmann (2011): Wem gehört die Atmosphäre? Nach dem Klimagipfel in Cancún. Stimmen der Zeit 2: 75-88.


  • "Determinants of cooperative climate policy among heterogeneous countries – insights from numerical modeling", invited lecture at University of Kassel, Volkswirtschaftliches Forschungskolloquium, November 30th 2016, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre. PDF
  • "The effect of climate thresholds on coalition formation", 7th Atlantic Workshop on Energy and Environmental Economics. link_icon.gifAWEEE home, PDF
  • "Emission trading with non-signatories in a climate agreement - An analysis of coalition stability" World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists WCERE 2010, Montreal. PDF
  • "Endogenous Technological Change in Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change" Defense of PhD thesis. PDF
  • "The Effect of Trade Sanctions in International Environmental Agreements" Workshop Coalitions for Climate Cooperation, 15-16 June 2009 in Venice. PDF
  • "Research Cooperation and International Standards in a Model of Coalition Stability." Conference on the International Dimension of Climate Policies, NCCR, Bern. PDF
  • "The Effects of Trade Sanctions in International Environmental Agreements." EcoMod Conference 2008, July 3rd, Berlin. PDF
  • "Coalition Stability subject to Technological Change and Trade." FEEM, Milan, Dec 4th, 2006. PDF


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